As we’ve had the pleasure to coordinate an increased amount of broadcast spots recently, we thought it was time to revisit a few tips for television spokespeople.
1. Prepare in advance: Read the talking points that you’ve developed (or your team has provided to you) prior to speaking with a reporter, but don’t memorize. Reviewing a set of messages before the interview will keep your organization’s key points top of mind, but it isn’t necessary to recite.
2. Keep it simple: If this is a taped interview, reporters are typically looking for a few short sound bites to weave into their stories. Keep your answers quick and concise as this makes the reporter’s job easier during the editing phase and prevents you from rambling. This tip applies to live interviews too.
3. Dress to impress: Let us be vain for a moment when we tell you that appearance counts when it comes to broadcast interviews. Take a look at your attire closely before you are interviewed on camera. We always recommend a solid color shirt, no busy patterns and please don’t pull out any duds purchased in the ’70s or ’80s.
4. Be yourself: As a PR professional, I am walking a fine line with this tip, but be yourself. Try not to reach for answers that you think will sound good on air. Instead, try to have a natural conversation with the reporter.
Yes, getting ready for broadcast interviews requires a bit more time than the average interview, but the exposure and benefits they can bring your organization are worth the extra time and preparation.